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Long Beach Port Not Slowed by L.A. Port Strike

75 Members of ILWU's clerical unit shut down the busiest Pier 400 but no work stoppage was reported at Long Beach's part of the nation's busiest shipping basin.

A strike Tuesday by clerical workers at the Port of L.A. shut down its largest of eight terminals but so far it has not impacted the Port of Long Beach, which shares the same shipping basin.

About 75 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union's Local 63 Office Clerical Unit at the Port of Los Angeles went on strike Tuesday in response to what they called stalled contract talks with their employer, APM Terminals.

APM Terminals, a subsidiary of global shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, called the strike by the ILWU a``disappointing development.''

But there were no stoppages at any of the Port of Long Beach's six terminals, according to spokesman Art Wong.

"We’re told that so far [there was] only picketing at one terminal at the Port of Los Angeles," said Wong, assistant director of communications for the port, part of the nation's largest shipping harbor.

The strike shut down APM Terminals, which operates Pier 400, the port's busiest. Other Pier 400 dock workers were honoring the picket line. Contract talks broke down after two-and-a-half years, but the sticking point was not wages and benefits, according to the union. It said its members were protesting attempts to outsource some clerical work to other states and countries.

``This is not a dispute over money,'' ILWU Local 63 O.C.U President John Fageaux Jr. said. ``Employers continue to use technology as a way to outsource jobs, and we're trying to put an end to that.

"These are good paying jobs that we want to keep here in the community,'' Fageaux said.

Negotiators for the shipping company disputed the union's outsourcing claims.

``Not one OCU job has been sent overseas, or anywhere else,'' the company's negotiators said in a statement. On the contrary, the negotiators argued, APM Terminals has offered clerical workers complete protection against outsourcing, including a guarantee against layoffs and a commitment to pay the vast majority of the workers for 40 hours per week for every week of the year.

Fageaux said his members will strike ``until we get a contract.'' The clerk's union represents about 800 clerks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

--City News Service contributed to this report.

tiedemannglobe.com November 28, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Is John Fageaux Jr. any different than a terrorist? Here is a definition from aclu.org, a site Fageaux should be familiar with; (domestic terrorism) act appears to be intended to: (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population. Fageaux and the union are intimidating and coercing US exporters as well as the union's employers. How about improve your skills and if you don't like your employer, go find one you like? Fageaux's quote about technology is embarrassing for him.
Dalzwyf November 28, 2012 at 09:28 PM
You have no ikea what you are talking about. The union is concerned for the employees safety, jobs, workload, etc. Yes, those who work union tend to be better paid because they negotiate as a group. You just sound jealous.

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